Brian Grunzke joined the South Dakota State baseball coaching staff in August 2012, bringing with him nearly 30 years of collegiate coaching experience.
“We are very fortunate to hire someone as experienced and successful as Brian Grunzke,” SDSU head coach Dave Schrage said. “He has a very extensive background as both a head and assistant coach. He is one of the finest recruiters in the Midwest and a great teacher of the game.”
During his time at SDSU, the Jackrabbits have won at least 28 games each of the past two seasons, including a 35-win campaign in 2013, during which SDSU won the Summit League Baseball Championship for the first time in program history and advanced to the NCAA Touranment for the first time at the Division I level. The Jackrabbits were the top seed for the Summit League postseason tournament in both 2013 and 2014.
Prior to joining the Jackrabbit coaching staff, Grunzke served as the first baseball coach at the University of Illinois-Springfield. He spent the 2009-10 academic year recruiting and building the foundation for the program’s entry into the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference. With a roster that included 20 freshmen, the Prairie Stars took the field for the first time in 2011 and posted an 8-35 overall record.
In 1990, Grunzke succeeded Schrage as head coach at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. Over 16 seasons, Grunzke compiled a 388-344-1 record in leading the Warriors to eight appearances in the NJCAA Region 11 finals. His 1994 squad posted 23 consecutive victories en route to a 40-win season and a berth in the regional championship. Late in his tenure he guided the program from junior college status to a four-year institution.
Overall, Grunzke has coached nine All-Americans, 24 all-region selections and nine players who have pursued professional careers.
Following the 2006 campaign, Grunzke moved to the NCAA Division I level for the first time, serving as an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock for two seasons. He moved on to the University of Northern Iowa as assistant coach for the 2009 season, after which the Panther program was discontinued.
A native of Minnesota Lake, Minn., Grunzke earned an associate of arts degree from Waldorf and later completed his bachelor’s degree at UALR.